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Sentence Correction Study Strategy Help

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Sentence Correction Study Strategy Help  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2019, 16:01
Hey folks,

Where might I find really good resource on the logic behind sentences?

English is my first language, in Verbal practice tests I've been very strong in CR and RC but horrendous in SC. Most of my answers equate to guesses as I choose the answer that sounds about right. I've been reading answers to SC questions in the forums here and lots of people present logical reasons for why an answer choice is incorrect. How and where do I learn that logic?

All help appreciated!
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Re: Sentence Correction Study Strategy Help  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2019, 18:35
Hi jameslewis,

SC is something of a 'technical' category in that every SC that you face on Test Day will be based on a specific set of grammar/idiom rules - so it really helps to know all of those rules. On a fundamental level, this isn't much different from learning Geometry rules to answer Geometry questions; while it might seem like there are lots of rules to learn, the 'list' is actually rather limited, but you have to learn - and practice - enough so that you can properly draw on that knowledge AND can spot when the rules apply. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Sentence Correction Study Strategy Help  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2019, 10:36
jameslewis wrote:
Hey folks,

Where might I find really good resource on the logic behind sentences?

English is my first language, in Verbal practice tests I've been very strong in CR and RC but horrendous in SC. Most of my answers equate to guesses as I choose the answer that sounds about right. I've been reading answers to SC questions in the forums here and lots of people present logical reasons for why an answer choice is incorrect. How and where do I learn that logic?

All help appreciated!


Two step process that I'd recommend

1. Watch some high quality videos on YouTube to get acquainted with the basics of English Grammar like nouns, adverbs, adjectives, phrases, clauses, gerunds etc.

2. Once 1 is complete pick up the Manhattan SC and read and re-read this amazing book until all the concepts in the book are well understood.

Without preparation you will not be able to ace this section of the GMAT.
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Re: Sentence Correction Study Strategy Help  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2019, 14:18
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Hi jameslewis,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. While you are not wrong in saying that logic can be used to answer certain Sentence Correction questions, there is actually a lot more that you need to learn in order to improve your SC skills. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to SC questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey logical meanings. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.
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Re: Sentence Correction Study Strategy Help   [#permalink] 20 Jan 2019, 14:18
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